Kent Green Party supports the Virtual High Street idea to help regenerate our town centres. Steve Dawe explains:
"Kent Greens want local shops to take up the idea of virtual high streets to help maintain and regenerate our town centres. What does this involve? Initiatives like Openhighstreet.com and MyHigh.St(1) make it possible for shopping to be done by computer or mobile. Customers can arrange to collect or have goods delivered. At present, these schemes are not being used very much by local businesses in Kent, but could provide extra business to existing businesses. Given competition from exclusively online retailers, it is difficult to imagine why small businesses would not want to take up these opportunities. It would also allow small local food shops to make an attempt to compete more effectively with supermarkets.
"From a customer point of view, people who have difficulty making purchases because of their work patterns would be just as likely as other customers to want to support businesses in their own locality, and keep them open. Given the estimated 15% of shops which are empty throughout the country (2), and general pessimism about the future of high streets, this type of initiative may be enough to build more resilient high streets in our County. This will be a contribution to maintaining and expanding local employment for the future."
FURTHER INFORMATION: Steve Dawe, Press Officer of Kent Green Party, on 01732 355185 or 07747 036192. Contact address as above. Promoted by H.Dawe and published by Kent Green Party, both at 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF. Monthly free ezine KENT GREEN NEWS available for subscription at www.kentgreenparty.org
1. http://openhighstreet.com/ and http://myhigh.st/#!/welcome See Lyndhurst Virtual High Street as an example at: http://www.newforest-online.co.uk/lyndhurst-virtual-high-street.asp and comments on a pilot scheme in Hereford: http://www.moorethompson.co.uk/blog/index.php?entry=entry120829-095726 And a complex developed version of this idea in Linlithgow: http://www.linlithgow.com/high_street.htm